World War II was over but still
fresh in the minds of folks who lived
in Bill’s hometown in the Ozarks.
Independence Day was important.
It called for a celebration.
When his father had the money,
and that was rare, he would buy
a lamb for the Fourth of July.
He'd roast the animal on a spit
in the yard, turning it slowly
and dousing it with mop sauce.
Bill was 10 on the Fourth in 1948.
His job was to make the ice cream
turning the crank on the freezer.
His relatives would watch in the yard
and laugh and yell when he had
to pause and go to the bathroom.
Banana ice cream, his father’s
favorite, had to be just right.
Never stop turning the crank.
In 1948, there were no parades
in town or concerts on TV.
No television sets back then and
the town was too small for a parade.
But after the Great War, people
in the Ozarks were quietly proud
of their independence, not silent
or oblivious as Bill believes
some Americans are today.